Trivia Worth Knowing

Are we Anglican or Episcopalian? The Labels We Wear

What’s the difference between the terms  “Anglican” and “Episcopal?” Isn’t it a bit of “overshoes” versus “galoshes?”  Don’t they identify the same thing? History and current usage show that why and when we use these labels is complicated. The origins of the word “Anglican” are simple enough.  The word “Anglican” can be traced back to …

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The Evils of Mincemeat

It could have your reported to the authorities.   Hanging mistletoe, stringing garlands,  performing a Christmas play,  closing your shop over Christmas,  and attending or presiding at a  Christmas service could each get you in hot water.  A simple two word message was sent out across the land courtesy of town criers –  “No Christmas. No …

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The Defiant Biretta

It is black, usually made from worsted wool with a black lining.  Three prominent blades run across the crown of the hat like three weather veins, publicly symbolic of the Trinity, met at the centre with a black pom-pom. The biretta is the Anglo-Catholic priest’s working cap.  During worship a series of rituals were developed …

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Shrove Tuesday – Pancakes or Football?

How should Lent begin, with a Shrove Tuesday no-holds barred football match?  How about beginning with a pancake race? This is how two English communities celebrate Shrove Tuesday, and their celebrations are linked to Church History. It’s the 12th century.   French-born Henry Plantagenet is on the throne of England.  He’s fiery, ambitious, and knows what …

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Is it an Altar or a Table?

The angry clash of the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean was never out of earshot in Helston, Cornwall, one of England’s westward most parishes. Turbulence also marked its history. It was the dawn of some radical liturgical changes in the Church of England, and Helston wouldn’t like it.  Statues were to go, an English-language liturgy …

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